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enjoyments only perennial streams, flowing from the eternal Fountain of good.
In them all, also, He will live, and breathe, and move. The animating principle, a vernal warınth, an ethereal fire, imperceptible in itself, but gloriously visible in its effects, will spread without intermission through the virtuous universe; and quicken all things, which it contains. The air, the trees, the streams, the fruits, will all be informed with life. This divine principle in the glorified bodies of the blessed, will warm the heart, kindle the eye, and play around the aspect, with youth and immortality. The soul it will invigorate with energy, which knows no decay; will glow in its affections ; and supply it with strength to form vast conceptions, and to model plans and purposes for cternity. All things will be full of life; and the life in all things will be God.
Finally, a new system of dispensations will bere commence, incomparably more glorious than any thing, and every thing, which has before existed. Christ is the light of Heaven, as well as of earth. In this Divine Person, the Godhead will shine without a cloud, and be seen face to face. The splendour will be all intelligence and enjoyment, and the warmth, life and love. The happy millions will bask for ever in the benevolent beams; and, with the eagle's eye fixed on the Divine Luminary, will rise, on eagles' wings, with a perpetually invigorated flight, nearer and nearer to the Sun of righteousness for ever.
THE REMOTER CONSEQUENCES OF DEATH.-THE HAPPINESS OF
REVELATION xxi. 1-3.- And I saw a new heaven and a new earth : for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Hearen, prepared as a bride, adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of Hearen, saying ; Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
IN the preceding discourse, I endeavoured to give a summary view of the New Creation, or the new heavens and the new earth, mentioned in the beginning of the text. In this, I propose to consider briefly, the particular State of the Redeemed in their future existence, for whom, principally, the Scriptures exhibit the glorious state of the universe, which was the subject of the preceding discourse, as being accomplished. For them, particularly, Heaven is formed, and furnished, to be their everlasting residence. In my Father's house, said our Saviour, are many mansions; I go to prepare a place for you. Come ye blessed of my Father, will the Judge say to the Righteous at the final day, inherit the Kingdom, prepared for you, froin the foundation of the world. To complete this world of glory, to adorn it with unrivalled beauty, to store it with the richest blessings, to fill it with the most proper inhabitants, and to reign over it with peculiar displays of his perfection for ever, is, I think, sufficiently exhibited in the Scriptures as the End, especially proposed by the Creator in all his antecedent dispensations. That heaven was created, to become the residence of those, by whom it will be inhabited, and to become the theatre of those glorious dispensations, which will constitute the eternal providence of God towards them, will not, I suppose, be questioned. It has been shown, that the display of the Divine wisdom to principalities and powers, in the heavenly places, by means of the Church, was the intent, for which God created all things by Jesus Christ. It will not be doubted, that this display will be chiefly made in the heavenly world, rather than in this; and more extensively, and perfectly, during the endless progress of future ages, than during the momentary continuance of time. For the same end existed the work of Redemption. For this end, also, mankind are born; angels employed as ministering spirits, to minister to them who are the heirs of salvation; the revolutions of time finished; the Judgment set; the world consumed by fire; and the
new heavens and the new earth created, as the eternal habitation of righteousness. Of course, this State is sufficiently glorious to justify these amazing labours, and the existence of that wonderful train of events, which they accomplish. The first heaven and the first earth were intended to be the theatre of temporary scenes; and, when these are finished, are declared in the text to pass away. The new heaven and the new earth are destined to eternal purposes; and are, therefore, formed to endure for ever.
The two last chapters of the Apocalypse are a discourse, written chiefly on this great subject. No descriptive writing, in the possession of mankind, can be compared with this in sublimity and splendour. The most beautiful, and the most magnificent, ohjects, which were ever presented to the imagination of man, are here selected with unrivalled skill, and combined with supreme felicity. Every stroke is the strong, masterly, effort of a great mind, filled with the immense grandeur of the subject, and giving vent to the wonders and glories of inspiration; every where invigorated with that conciseness, which is so characteristical of the Scriptures, and especially of their sublimest effusions. It is equally distinguished for the particularity of imagery, and phraseology, which is indispensable to all vivid, powerful impressions. Little and ordinary things, nay, such as may be styled great, but are yet possessed of secondary splendour, are here forgotten, or purposely left to be supplied by the mind of the reader; while the writer employs himself in exhibiting those only, which are eminently important, intensely beautiful, or gloriously majestic.
This discourse of Sl. John may perhaps with equal propriety be considered, as a description of a place, which, with its appendages, is denominated the heaven of heavens, or the new Jerusalem ; or of the state of things existing in ihat delightful region; as an account of the future character, and happiness, of the Church; or the divine residence, where it will dwell, and its happiness be enjoyed. It is of little consequence, therefore, in which manner the discourse is understood.
Of this discourse the Text is the introduction, and contains several interesting declarations concerning its illustrious subject. The writer commences his observations by informing us, that, after the first heaven and the first carth had passed away, he saw a new heaven and a new earth brought into existence: the same, which St. Peter declares to be expected by himself, and his fellowChristians, after the conflagration. In these happy regions, he also informs us, tumult and confusion would never find a place: There was no more sea. Then, he announces to us, he saw the holy City, new Jerusalem, a magnificent emblem of the future state, and residence, of the redeemed, coming down from God out of heaven. This City, was prepared as a bride adorned for her hus. band; or, in other words, ornamented with every variety, and degree, of beauty and splendour. A great voice from heaven
proclaimed, that this was the tabernacle, or peculiar dwelling place, of God; that it should henceforth exist with men through all succeeding ages of duration ; and that God would henceforth dwell with them, and be their God, and that they should be his people. In other words, the voice declared, that the covenant, made with Abraham, and afterwards repeatedly promulged to the Church, should now be fulfilled in all its import, and to the utmost extent of the blessing, conveyed in those memorable words : I will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
Soon after, St. John was carried by an angel, in the spirit, to a great and high mountain; where, at leisure, he surveyed the same illustrious object; and beheld in distinct vision, and contemplated separately, the wonderful parts of this astonishing structure, and all its magnificent appendages. His description of these he concludes with this remarkable declaration : And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination; or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. For the redeemed, then, heaven is formed, and constituted; and all its blessings unite, to complete their happy state in the future world.
The observations, which I propose to make concerning this interesting subject, I shall arrange under the following heads:
I. The Residence ;
In the first place, The Residence of these happy beings claims our particular altenlion.
No man, it is presumed, ever read the history of our first Parents, contained in the second chapter of Genesis, without being deeply interested in their state, as well as their character. The paradise, allotted to them as their proper residence, has in a high degree engaged the attention, and awakened the delight, of every reader. Its trees and fruits; its fields arrayed in verdure, and adorned with flowers; the life, which breathed in its winds, and flowed in its rivers; the serenity of its sky, and the splendour of its sunshine; together with the immortality, which gilded, and burnished, all its beautiful scenes; have filled the heart with rapture, and awakened the most romantic visions of the imagination. The Piets of the West, and still more those of the East, have, down to the present hour, kindled at the thought of this scene of beauty and fragrance; and the very name of Eden has met the eye, as a gem in the verse which it adorned. Nay, it has been transferred by God himself to the world of glory; and become one of the appropriate designations of Heaven. To him that overcometh, saith our Saviour, I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. VOL. IV.
If the earthly Paradise has been so delightful to the human mind; if the human heart has ever sighed over the loss of this happy residence; it must certainly be a more delightful, as well as a more rational, employment to contemplate a Paradise, wonderfully superior both in its nature and duration. Peculiarly will this employment be proper, consolatory, and edisying, to him, who, feeling himself a pilgrim and stranger in the present world, looks for a permanent residence beyond the grave, a cily, which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.
The heavenly Paradise is formed for eternity; and will in every respect deserve to continue through this immense duration. It is intended to be the scene, in which the infinitely glorious obedience of Christ will find its reward; and will itself be a proper part of that reward, and one honourable testimony of his Father's complacency in that divine work. The marriage-supper of the Lamb, the great festival of the universe, is now to be holden; and the house of God will be adorned with all the beauty and splendour, which can become this great day, and the character of this wonderful Person. The prayer of Christ for his followers, contained in these remarkable words, And the glory, which thou hast given me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one : I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one. Father, I will, that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me : this prayer will now begin to be fulfilled in its proper import. All the redeemed will now be gathered in this happy place; and the perfect Union between them and the Saviour will commence. They will begin to behold his glory, and to possess the glory which he has given ihem. That manifestation of ihe sons of God will now be made, which the whole creation has earnestly and anxiously expected to this time. This is the period, in which all things will begin to be theirs : the things of this world, by an instructive and delightful recollection ; the things of that which is to come, by exquisite and unlimited enjoyment. Of course, whatever material beauty, greatness, and glory, can furnish; whatever their luminous minds can understand, or enjoy, of this nature; will now begin to be lavished on them with a bounty, becoming the character of God.
Perfectly correspondent with these views of the subject is the description of the New Jerusalem, contained in this discourse of St. John. The foundations of the heavenly City are garnished with all manner of precious stones. Its dimensions are wonderfully great. Its wall is of jasper. Its buildings are of pure and pellucid gold: its gates are pearls: its watchmen are angels. The Throne of God, and the Lamb, is in the midst of it. Out of this throne proceeds the river of life, and on its banks stands the tree of life, yielding the various fruits of immortality. No temple is found here. No night overcasts the sky. No moon shines. No